About the region
Local Aboriginal communities have an enduring connection to these sites, many of which have important heritage values (such as scar trees, middens, burial sites, artefacts and ovens). Waterways across the northern region provide highly valued amenity and recreational opportunities for residents and visitors as well as business opportunities from tourism. Importantly, these waterways also support irrigated agriculture which contributes significantly to Australia's prosperity through food and fibre production.
Environmental water available for use in the northern Victorian systems is held in the Ovens, Murray, Goulburn, Broken, Loddon and Campaspe storages, which also hold water for consumptive water entitlements. The water systems of the northern region are highly connected. Infrastructure and water trading allows water to move from one system to another. This allows environmental water to move between systems for delivery to priority environmental sites across northern Victoria, if needed. However, most environmental water in these systems is prioritised to provide benefits in the regions in which the water is held.
We coordinate with the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office in northern Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia to deliver environmental outcomes in the Murray–Darling Basin and maximise the benefits of environmental water deliveries in Victoria.
In some cases environmental water delivered through northern Victoria can be reused for environmental benefits downstream. If return flows are not reused in Victoria, the VEWH, Living Murray and Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder return flows can flow to the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth in South Australia.
We can also authorise waterway managers to order Living Murray and Commonwealth water for downstream sites, provided there are no adverse impacts on Victorian waterways.
View the current seasonal watering plan for the rivers and wetlands that make up the Northern region:
- Barmah Forest
- Gunbower Creek and Forest
- Central Murray wetlands
- Hattah Lakes
- Lower Murray wetlands
- Lindsay, Wallpolla and Mulcra
- Ovens system
- Goulburn River
- Goulburn wetlands
- Broken River and Upper Broken Creek
- Lower Broken Creek
- Broken wetlands
- Campaspe River
- Coliban River
- Loddon River system (including Tullaroop, Serpentine and Pyramid creeks)
- Boort wetlands
- Birchs Creek